Thursday, July 9, 2009

I visited Joe

Two days ago I visited San Luis Obispo and Joe Martin's grave. I spent some time with Joe. It was a peaceful time sitting in my chair telling Joe hello from his friends from Company B and remembering the day that he died. The peaceful time there visiting and praying was a healing contrast to the day he died. 19 June 67 was a day that part each man in the 4/47th died.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Still on the road

I'm in New Mexico headed for Santa Fe and Taos. Rich told me to correct my last post. I appologize to who follow my blog. I implied that Rich was to only one. I'm on my way to Santa Fe, Taos, and Angel Fire. At Angel Fire I will visit the Victor Westphall Vietnam Veteran Memorial. This is the first US memorial for those who died in Vietnam. I have spent time at the Wall and visiting this memorial will follow one of the themes of my trip. The last memorial that I plan to go to will be Joe Martin's grave in San Luis Obispo, CA. The aniversary of Joe's death is tomorrow. He died in a battle near Long An Province, south of Saigon in 1967. That day was a tragic one for all of us in the 4/47th.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

To Rick

This is to my good friend Rick who faithfully checks this blog; almost the only one who checks my blog. I'm in Nashville where I went to see a great bluegrass group last night. I'll see some blues performers tonight. I'm feeling good, although I pushed myself too hard while traveling and got the old burning, stinging anxiety feeling in my chest. Ptsd stuff and it almost cripples me. I've had to slow down for about a month, but I will stay on the road till mid June. Hope that you and Marcia are doing well.

Monday, February 9, 2009


It's been a while since I posted anything here. Traveling has been keeping me busy. I began my travels on December 20 with the idea that I would visit a friend in Wyoming whom I served with in Vietnam. On the way there, I realized that I had nothing pressing that necessitated returning home. So I kept going, first to Denver and Kansas City to visit cousins then to Madison, Wisconsin to visit a young woman whom I trained as a boxer. I enjoyed visiting Kerstin and her husband Kevin and bonded with her toddler, Meriam. After that I visited two more friend with whom I served in Vietnam. My plan was to go south and visit another vet friend in Texas; however, my plan changed and as I went south I turned east through Arkansas, Georgia, Virginia and eventually to Washington, DC. What kept pulling me was the Vietnan Veterans Memorial. I had never visited the Wall. In DC, I went there once alone and then a second time with three young people. Standing a distance from the Wall I told them stories of experiences that I had in war. It was good for them to hear these stories as the stories gave more meaning to the name on the wall. I'm sure telling those stories there helped me. I'm not sure how; however, I have a feeling that as I process that experience I will learn more.

I did not remain in the saddness that the Wall represents. I stayed in DC luxuriating in art going to the National Art Gallery and the National Portrait and American Art Gallery. I spent three days there soaking in as much great art as I could. I experienced art from the late middle ages to the modernists. Vemeer and Pollack still remain some of my favorites. However, on my last day in DC I wanted to visit something especially meaningful and prayed for that gift. In the National Portrait Gallery I went to a certain gallery looking for one particular work in one photograph section. There I happened on the pictures of four individual womem--three younger women and a woman just a little older. They were pictures of women who had served in Iraq and all had post-traumatic stress disorder. I could feel the depression, anxiety that the pictures expressed. I could also relate to their feelings because I have two pictures that of myself that captured the same feelings. While I stood there in the small gallery I wanted to yell and direct people to look at those pictures. I wanted to say, "experience what these pictures say. This is important." I suppose that that is one of the goals of my life--to educate people about what war does to people.